Publish Date: 04/07/2019
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis
The madness doesn’t end in March and the Virginia-Auburn game showed that. Auburn displayed the same resiliency against Virginia that they did a week ago against Kentucky. Too bad Harper missed a free throw that would have put them up by three and that a few seconds later cost them the game. If they are up three they would have been able to foul and keep the Cavaliers from shooting a three at the end.
No matter how people want to spin it that was a foul! The defender bumped Kyle Guy in the process of shooting the ball and there is no way around that. The only bad call at the end of the game was when Jerome dribbled off his own foot and picked it up and continued dribbling which should have been a double dribble.
I know people love offense, but the basketball played on Saturday night was excellent! Very rarely have we seen teams that play defense the way these teams did and have for most of the season. It drives me nuts when the so-called experts at ESPN try to tell us this was not great basketball. Basketball is more than just scoring and defense does when championships.
Rarely with nearly no time on the clock and down two points do you see a young man come to the line to shoot three free throws and you have no doubt he is going to make it, but that is exactly how I felt watching Kyle Guy walk to the line. These were the biggest free throw makes in the NCAA tournament since Rumeal Robinson knocked two down at the end of the 1989 Final. Guy is a big reason why the Cavs are playing Monday night and at the end of the day if you are Texas Tech make sure you are up at least 4 in the final second or Guy will probably figure out a way to beat you.
In the waning minutes of the game, the cameras pan to coach Tubby Smith sitting in the crowd and they talk about how he helped Coach Beard in the transition phase when he took over as the Tech head coach. I have no problem with that, but why no mention of Coach Knight who Beard always talks about in glowing terms and he always gives credit to coach Knight for being the biggest influence on his coaching career. It would be nice if CBS would show Coach Knight some respect after all of these years. What you saw on Saturday night on offense and defense was hugely influenced by Knight’s coaching philosophies and it should have been recognized.
For all the talk of Zion and Coach K, or Roy Williams and the Tar Heels, make no mistake about it the two best teams in the country are playing on Monday night and sure the final score maybe 56-55, but it will be high quality and intense basketball that will have you on the edge of your seat.
Since 1987 the tournament has ended with the song “One Shining Moment” and this year, just like past years, it will raise goosebumps on most basketball fans. This year the video should be even better because from the Regionals to this Final Four we have seen some of the greatest moments in college basketball history. Just remember this, the NCAA will make billions of dollars while the kids won’t and that is a shame.